A New Perspective, Part 1 of 1

Pairing: Nothing overt, but if pushed, I'd say Jane/Maura, in the "we'll get there someday" sense

Spoilers: Post-ep for "See One, Do One, Teach One," though there are also references to something the audience won't know until "When the Gun Goes Bang, Bang, Bang."

Warnings: None.

Disclaimer: The only thing that's mine is the plot, such as it is.

Notes: Yep, another post-ep.


In the end, it had taken the better part of two days to restore her apartment to some kind of order.

Granted, she suspected that had she not had that fourth Bloody Mary, the work on Friday morning might have been a bit more productive – but, hell, she'd been captured by Hoyt, again, and made it out alive.

Again.

She deserved it, didn't she?

When she woke up Saturday in Maura's guest room, though, she'd panicked.

The night before, it had seemed like the most logical solution. They'd barely scratched the surface of the living room, let alone the bedroom, and there was no way in hell she was going to sleep in her bed until she'd sent everything, pillows and all, through a washing machine.

Two or three times.

Maura had a nice, comfy bed that Hoyt and his damn apprentice had never even seen, let alone touched.

But when she woke up and remembered that the entire mess was still waiting for her in her apartment, her heart had lurched. If her mother came over on Sunday to any remnant whatsoever of Hoyt and his apprentice, she'd likely be forced into moving.

Or, worse, to her mother moving in and refusing to leave until the day Hoyt died.

Fortunately, after she'd whined, wheedled, cajoled, and outright insisted that Maura borrow her softball jersey and a pair of actual, completely unfashionable jeans, the cleanup had gone much faster.

Finally satisfied late Saturday afternoon, Jane had allowed Maura to talk her into dinner out after a trip to PetSmart to buy supplies for her new dog.

And her turtle, or tortoise, or whatever it was Maura was insisting she call the damn thing.

Through the whole day, though, something was nagging at her, and it was only at dinner that she remembered accusing Maura of being a cyborg, and why. She'd meant it mostly jokingly, but there was no denying that Maura could be a little…awkward.

So she'd dusted off her detective cobwebs and watched – really watched – her friend. Maura easily moved through the routine social graces – making the reservation, leaving the car with the valet, even speaking with the maitre d'. In fact, she was clearly comfortable doing all of those things – more comfortable than Jane herself would have been, really.

How was it, she began to wonder, that Maura could do some things so well and be so damn hesitant at others?

She paid attention as they talked, as Maura occasionally stuck her foot in her mouth, as she started to make a comment or two and stopped, obviously censoring herself, and she realized what it was: there was no script between them.

With the routine stuff, she'd learned what to say, when and how to say it – but when left to her own devices, she often floundered.

And, sure, it was a little awkward sometimes, and, no, she didn't really need to know about the special Maura had watched about the Big Bang the other night, but it was also kind of fun watching how excited she was about the whole thing – how her eyes were bright with interest and how intently she spoke.

Maura was nothing like anyone she had ever known. It had very little to do with her obviously privileged upbringing – even the chief M.E. couldn't afford a car like that on a city salary – and everything to do with the unique way her brain worked.

But she was fun, if you just let yourself go along for the ride, and she was smart, caring, and generous.

She was…well, she was pretty amazing, if Jane did say so herself.

Which was why, as she picked at the dessert they'd decided to share, Jane couldn't quite let go of the thought that had been plaguing her all day.

Even the next day, when she woke up on the brand new, obscenely expensive sheets Maura had insisted on buying for her when she'd spilled her guts about how much the thought of Hoyt in her bedroom really bugged her, Jo Friday happily sprawled next to her on one of her new pillows, the thought still nagged at her.

Surely someone else had figured out what a great person Maura was, right? No one really went through life that alone, right?

Right?


She just couldn't let it go.

She knew her mother sensed something – meek and quiet Jane wasn't, but she'd been allowing Angela to boss her around in her own kitchen for over an hour.

By the pensive, worried expression on her face, though, and the glares she kept shooting at the bandage covering the flare burns, she seemed to think the problem was Hoyt.

Hoyt, however, was the farthest thing from Jane's mind.

"Hey, Ma," she said with forced nonchalance as she was peeling a potato, "you ever known anyone who never had a best friend?"

Angela glanced at her briefly, but went back to dicing an onion without more comment than a questioning grunt.

"Just something I was…thinking about."

"Well…I haven't called anyone my 'best friend' in a long time, if that's what you're asking?"

"No. I mean, you know, ever."

"No," Angela said, frowning. "Everyone has a best friend."

"That's what I thought," Jane muttered gloomily.

Her head shot up when she heard the door slam open. "Hey!" she yelped. "Watch it! You'll scare the dog."

Frankie frowned. "Dog?"

"One of Korsak's pity projects. I told him I'd watch her while he waits for the stitches to heal, but…I think she's adopted me."

Frankie rolled his eyes and waved dismissively. "You like her and you know it," he said with a grin. "And – hey, what's this?"

Jane sighed. If anyone knew she actually liked the damn animal…. "Jo's bed."

"Jo?"

"Like Joe Friday. But a girl. Josephine."

Frankie chuckled. "Who came up with that?"

"Korsak; who do you think?"

"And that's…her bed?"

"My friend Maura…she went shopping with me yesterday."

Frankie wandered into the kitchen. "Maura…Isles? The Queen of the Dead?"

"Don't call her that!" Jane snapped. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Angela raise an eyebrow, but she went back to her onions without comment.

Frankie held his hands up defensively. "Okay, okay, geez. Everybody does, you know."

"Anyone ever ask her if she likes it?"

"Oh, come on, Janie, no one wants to even talk to her. She spends all day around dead bodies."

Jane's eyes narrowed. "If it weren't for her, we'd solve a hell of a lot less cases. Besides, she's nice."

"She's weird."

"She's not weird. She's…she's…" She fidgeted as she searched for the right word. Finally, she happened on the closest she could come to describe her friend's offbeat, quirky personality. "…she's goofy."

"Goofy." Frankie raised both eyebrows and stared at her skeptically. "Goofy?"

Jane sighed. "Ma. Little help?"

"Stop aggravating your brother."

"Hey!" she spluttered. "He's the one – he's – he's…oh, never mind. Where's Tommy?"

"He called earlier," Angela said. "He said he'd be a little late. He had a construction job today."

"Great," Jane muttered. "How come he's allowed to be late?"

"He had a job."

"I have a job. Frankie has a job. Pop has a job. We can't be late; how come Tommy can?"

Angela waved her off with a sigh and Frankie fled to the couch to watch the game with his father.

Jane went back to peeling potatoes.

"Is that why you were asking about best friends?" Mrs. Rizzoli finally said. "Is this…Maura…?"

She shrugged. "It's just something she said. The other n…day. That she'd never had one." She glanced at her mother. "I thought it was kind of…sad."

"You haven't mentioned her before."

Jane shrugged. "We get along at work…talked about spending time together. Never did it, you know? But she helped me clean up after the whole…thing. Spent most of yesterday helping me get set up for the turtle and the dog. She's…nice."

For some reason she couldn't put her finger on, she didn't mention that it was Maura's house she'd fled to for safety the other night.

"And you like her."

There was a note to her mother's voice she couldn't quite place. "Yeah…?"

"Is there something you want to tell me, Janie?"

Now utterly befuddled, she dropped the peeler and stared at her mother, taking a sip of beer as she did so. "Huh?"

"Well, honey, no matter what, you're giving me grandbabies. Artificial insemination costs quite a bit, you know, and if I have to start saving to help you pay for that, I'd appreciate knowing as soon as possible."

Jane nearly missed the end of her mother's statement because she was coughing so violently. "God, Ma!" She pressed a hand to her violently stinging nose. "You made me snort my beer! Into my broken nose!"

"Well, it's just – "

"Forget it, okay? Peel your own damn potatoes."

In a huff, she went and collapsed onto the couch between Frankie and her father.

"Hey, Jane?"

"Hmm?"

Frankie leaned close and whispered, "Pop said Tommy sounded drunk again."

"Great."

He glanced at her. "He's on his third strike."

"Believe me, I know."

"He's had a few close calls."

"I know that too."

They watched TV for a few minutes, before Frankie eyed her and asked, "Where'd the turtle come from?"

Jane smacked her brother in the face with a pillow. "Shut up, Frankie."